Monday, January 7, 2013

Fascinating Mother Jones Article on Lead and Crime

Picked up the link to this Mother Jone's article on Grist today which convincingly links environmental lead exposure to crime rates.

Experts often suggest that crime resembles an epidemic. But what kind? Karl Smith, a professor of public economics and government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has a good rule of thumb for categorizing epidemics: If it spreads along lines of communication, he says, the cause is information. Think Bieber Fever. If it travels along major transportation routes, the cause is microbial. Think influenza. If it spreads out like a fan, the cause is an insect. Think malaria. But if it's everywhere, all at once—as both the rise of crime in the '60s and '70s and the fall of crime in the '90s seemed to be—the cause is a molecule. 
A molecule? That sounds crazy. What molecule could be responsible for a steep and sudden decline in violent crime?
Well, here's one possibility: Pb(CH2CH3)4.

Oh, and its good to be back, look for more content coming soon. I've made a decision to use this channel as my primary means of sharing things I like, want to comment on, and am entertained by.  Hopefully feeding all of that to the twitters, Facebooks, and Google +'s will allow me to focus on what I want to be doing for a wider audience that facebook.